That’s one pin for every year they’ve been in business.

The popularity of bowling tends to wax and wane over the years, and it could be argued the high water mark for the sport in Japan occurred during the ’70s. That’s also when Shinjuku Copa Bowl opened in the Kabukicho area of Shinjuku, Tokyo.

▼ Copa Bowl is located inside the Humax building

Opening there was no small feat either, as Kabukicho was at that time by far the entertainment mecca of Japan. Big-name alleys sprung up in the district at bowling’s peak, but it was pretty much only the Copa Bowl managed to stay in business through the thick and thin of the past several decades in order to celebrate its 50th anniversary this year.

In celebration of still going strong after half a century, Shinjuku Copabowl is holding the 50-Pin Challenge. In this test of bowling prowess, 50 pins are lined up in a single lane and anyone who can get a strike will win “a month’s worth of free-game coupons” (i.e. 30 free tickets).

To attempt this feat, we sent our greatest bowler, Mr. Sato. However, it should be noted that we all suck at bowling so saying Mr. Sato is “our best” really isn’t so special. In fact, he’s a confirmed casual bowler whose lifetime average is firmly in the double digits.

Normally it would take him about seven frames to knock down 50 pins, but on this day he would have to do it with a single ball. Each attempt at the 50-Pin Challenge costs 1,000 yen (US$7.77), but if you post the attempt to social media the price is reduced by half.

Mr. Sato studied the pins and examined the polyurethane finish of the lane for any subtle curves and groves.

Then, remembering what he learned on YouTube thirty minutes beforehand, he swung his arm back widely…

…and then brought it forward steadily for a controlled throw.

Mr. Sato: “Soul Ball, go!!!”

Mr. Sato’s aim was true, and the ball took a straight course down the center of the lane.

The Soul Ball struck the crowd of pins with mighty crash and sent a cloud of them flying in every direction.

However, when the dust settled…four remained.

▼ The video of the entire challenge

It was a bittersweet experience. It was an extremely good throw by Mr. Sato’s standards, but it definitely stung to get so close to a strike but fall short.

On the bright side, everyone who attempts the 50-Pin Challenge can get at least one free game ticket regardless of their score. In Mr. Sato’s case, a score of 46 was good for six free tickets and medium sized fries.

The event will continue until 28 April, so head on down to Shinjuku Copa Bowl and give it a whirl soon, while wishing this hallowed recreation facility another prosperous 50 years to come.

Alley information
Shinjuku Copa Bowl / 新宿コパボウル
Tokyo-to, Shinjuku-ku, Kabukicho 1-20-1 Humax Pavilion Shinjuku Kabukicho 3, 4F
東京都新宿区歌舞伎町1-20-1 HUMAXパビリオン新宿歌舞伎町3・4F
Open 11 a.m.-6:30 a.m. the next day

Source: PR Times
Photos ©SoraNews24
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